Friday, August 25, 2006

How Many Ways to Say "Nothing"?

Each day I read fellow analysts Charles Kirk (of Kirk Report fame) and Michael Kahn (of Barron's fame). I notice they're in the same predicament I many different ways can one say, "there's nothing else I can say!" Posts are getting smaller and shorter every day!

Honestly, this has been a completely boring week. Everyone keeps saying all the traders are on vacation. Is that really the case? It's astonishing to me that an entire stock market can be so dulled by a portion of people taking their summer vacations. Oh, well. The volume is more telling than my opinion.

If a light strikes me this weekend and I think of some more good graphs to share, I will. In the meantime, here are a few interesting charts from my forthcoming book. Make of them what you will! (They're from the chapter on Head & Shoulders patterns)


Anonymous said...

Anyone looking at the charts of 1987 for an analogy to our current situation should just forget it.The DJIA had doubled more or less from '85 to '87.Major,Major all-time highs on the DOW.Stocks in the DOW and the S&P had gone up expedentially.Not to mention the relatively new Tech powered NASDQ.
NOW,we have a DJIA that is roughly where it was 5 years ago but still not at an all time high,BUT major sectors have had steep rotational corrections,some 40to 60% lower than they were just 2 years ago. This may give the "market" a chance to meander sideways to slightly drifting up for a long time to come.And yes ,I am a bear by the technical weightings I measure. Based on the total valuation of all stocks combined I think we should have fallen to about 8800 on the DOW.But unless we get a MAJOR SUCKERPUNCH of BAD NEWS the will globally affect things economically for a long time that this market has not supposedly "PRICED IN" at this current figure of 11,000'whatever',
I think were in for a lot more of what we saw this week.
Hope I'm dead wrong and that LABOR DAY does prove to be the catalyst for high volume AND high volitility on the DJIA and other major indexes.


Anonymous said...


I see that the BRCM chart you have if for 2001 to 2004?

I am short BRCM


Anonymous said...

If you look at the historical P/E averages, you'll notice that the market has traditionally valued stocks between a P/E of 5-10 during bear markets/recessions.

Right now, we're still around 15-16 on the S&P. I'm not sure where we are on the Dow, but I'm assuming it's very similar.

We have a long way to drop in these markets before the bear cycle is over. That is, assuming we even GET the bear market cycle... the way it's looking right now, the Market Manipulating Monkeys won't let the Dow drop more than a few dozen points before pumping in new money.

They must be loving those hidden M3 figures.


Anonymous said...

If you look at the historical P/E averages, you'll notice that the market has traditionally valued stocks between a P/E of 5-10 during bear markets/recessions.

Right now, we're still around 15-16 on the S&P. I'm not sure where we are on the Dow, but I'm assuming it's very similar.

We have a long way to drop in these markets before the bear cycle is over. That is, assuming we even GET the bear market cycle... the way it's looking right now, the Market Manipulating Monkeys won't let the Dow drop more than a few dozen points before pumping in new money.

They must be loving those hidden M3 figures.


Anonymous said...


Excellent examples of head & shoulders, especially for newer traders like myself.

When can we expect your book to hit the shelves. Will there be any pics of Peter North in it?

Anonymous said...

IBD take:(or the Grape Koolaid for momentum traders)

...Volume dipped vs. day-ago levels again, continuing the recent trend of light turnover. Trading levels have stayed below average on the NYSE for 11 straight sessions, with six straight days of below-average volume on the Nasdaq. Friday marked the lowest volume total on both the Nasdaq and NYSE since the pre-holiday levels logged July 3.

For the week, the Nasdaq fell 1.1%. That loss represented only a modest portion from the prior week's 5.2% surge, the index's biggest gain in more than three years. The week's sharply lighter volume also suggested that big investors weren't unloading shares.

The recent light trade has made it tough to gauge the market's strength. The Nasdaq followed through on its rally attempt on Aug. 15, vaulting 2.2%. It surged 1.6% the next day in higher volume, as big-money traders stepped in again to grab shares.

Since then, the major indexes have avoided flashing any distribution days. But we've also seen no signs of accumulation, with stocks content to drift for a while. Given how volume tends to lag in August, we may need to wait until after Labor Day for clearer signs of market direction.

Leading stocks have failed to impress. The IBD 100 has slipped 0.1% since the Aug. 15 follow-through. Few top-rated stocks have gained much benefit from the confirmed rally....

What they leave out is that follow thru days occur on day 4 thru 10 with 1% or greater gains and volume heavier than preceding day.

Technically that was Aug 15/16. No follow thru since to confirm the "breakout". On the other hand, we'd need to see a 1% or greater drop on high volume to undo the potential buy signal AND a follow thru within a few days to confirm a breakdown.

IBD has no intellectual consistency with their own signals. Guess it sell papers.


darcy said...

the hube

the article that came from was from a question asked of Robert Prechter ( of "elliott wave principle" )
they have a bullitin board for questions (it's free ?) to ask

good perspective on the market

Anonymous said...

Need some feedback about brokers??

What do some of the readers brokers require(margin,account size,etc.)to enter a synthetic futures position using options.

Example: S&P 500

Bearish:Sell Call/Buy Put

(Sell S&P 1295 call option .szpis)

(Buy S&P 1295 put option .szpus)

This trade has the sell of a call option that I understand some brokers require an account balance size of up to $100k.

Looking for a broker and this $100k minimum standard to sell options seems unreasonable. Any thoughts??

Pete Moss

Anonymous said...

next week there will be a bunch of market movers especially next friday when the job numbers come out, it should be a lot better next week than it was this week.
Looking foward to it. Thursday and Friday was just pathetic.

As for market direction, its still anyones game. I dont think will get direction until september 20th when the federal reserve meets again. That will be another market mover.

As for housing, its not going to be a "SOFT LANDING". Everyone on cnbc talks about a soft landing, there fools, its not going to be a soft landing when foreclosures are on the rise and ARMS in RESET mode. Anyone who thinks were going to have a nice "smooth" "soft" "gentle"
landing in the housing market better think again. Its not going to be pretty when housing prices drop another 5% by the end of 2006 and another 10-15% by the end of 2007. No one will be borrowing against there houses as much as they were in the last 5 years. Where will people go next to borrow money and spend, spend, spend to keep this economy running???

By the way i missed the segment on cnbc today about the guy who said he sees 30% upside in the markets by the end of 2006, if anyone has a transcript of that can you please post it, i need a good laugh.

Trader 2006

Anonymous said...


I always look for great blogs to read on my spare time. I found your blog to be very well done. I really enjoyed reading it, in fact if i were you i would go to and submit this blog so thousands of others can see it for free. well, i look forward to all the updates, thanks again'


Anonymous said...


Like you, I do NOT buy the theory that a market is flat or down because the "Traders" all went on vacation. If in fact we are held hostage to a "group of people" that control the market then why would this "group of people" who make their living from trading just close of shop and go away for an entire week or two without leaving someone in charge to continue making money? This market is flat for moe reasons than that - just do not know what it is?

Great site and really enjoy the information exchange.


Super Bull said...

Gun to my head, I would say that the trend is still up because I don't believe housing prices will collapse. I think we will see a 5% to 10% housing prices correction but that will not cause a recession.

Anonymous said...

I've been giving the markets some thought lately. Here's my take:

People have money to invest. Companies have money to invest. People that are currently employed TYPICALLY have 401(k) money that is coming into the system every single paycheck.

That's a lot of money coming INTO the system that has to be put to "good use" somewhere. And usually, that means some sort of investment, not simply in cash to hide inside your mattress.

So, where does that leave us? Cash, bonds, gold, CDs, stocks, money markets, etc. are all viable investment vehicles.

Beyond an all-out crash of the markets, I just don't see people pulling their money out. And unless something DRASTIC happens in the world to force the average Joe to start adjusting his 401(k) disbursements, then he's going to leave them right where they are: in stocks.

So, for the markets to suffer, they would need to have a decent amount of liquidity drained from them -- so that liquidity can be put to "better use" elsewhere. And by that, I'm implying that fixed-income vehicles would typically be the next-best alternative for most people.

Now, the bond market hasn't done much lately. CDs have actually come DOWN in recent months. Money market accounts are in the same boat as CDs. Gold has backed off and is sagging. The markets are actually holding up pretty decently.

I guess what I'm saying is that people aren't hitting the panic button just yet. And since they aren't panicking, they aren't going to abandon their stock market investments for a measly 5% CD or money market account.

With no BETTER ALTERNATIVES out there, people will just be content to sit on their stock market investments and their 401(k) plans will continue to pump more and more money into the system. Yes, there will be some more "active players" who will adjust their portfolios and eliminate some risk, but in general, the stock markets are still the place to be for the great majority of people out there.

Anyways, that's just my take. I've personally been very bearish on the markets in general, but as I said, it's all about liquidity. I've begun to think about the markets a little differently -- in terms of what BETTER alternatives are out there. So unless there's a REASON for people to panic and take their money OUT of the markets, then they will continue to float higher.


Anonymous said...

It's obvious that this market is being manipulated. How else can the market finish day after day with almost no change? The Dow moves 20 points in 11,000? C'mon folks, this sucks. Like how many traders are away in the Hamptons? This market is global, it's not just about Wall Street. The market goes up 200 points because Bernake says the economy is slowing down? This is not computerized, this is insanity. Who runs this market anyway? The situation in the Middle East is explosive and the market couldn't care less?

Oscar Nao said...

I see Bull Flags on a few things, but the low volume means that when the "bigs" come back from vacation, their agenda will make the day. Don Worden (TC2007) wrote this Friday:

"But there is one thing that needs attention. The Nasdaq Brothers have not followed through on the Short-term downside breakout, and they have subtly changed their patterns into flags. A flag is a rectangular consolidation slanting against the trend.

In this case the flags are trending down and going against the sharp upmove from August 11 to August 18. These are bullish formations that typically occur about half way through a move. The implication is that the Nasdaq Brothers are about to launch another upmove that will take out their early July highs and, just possibly, their early June highs.

Taking out the early July high would move them into a full Intermediate Uptrend."

He also went on the write:

"What about the Dow and SP-500? They have not formed clear-cut flags, although the Dow comes awfully close to it. The SP-500 is a bit more ambiguous, but it is certainly no longer in a clear Sub-Intermediate downtrend. If the others go from here, there is no reason to think it would refuse to follow.

And there is more. All four of these averages now have bullish TSV patterns. All four were positively divergent at the August bottom, and in all four cases, the TSV has continued to climb. TSV patterns for the Nasdaq Brothers have actually become leading divergences. And you can't fault the Dow or SP-500 for not having leading divergences, because both of these averages have already taken out the early July high, and both of them are already in full Intermediate Uptrends."

Something to think about.

FYI: TSV is one of their own indicators.

Anonymous said...

inverted yield curve

and thats all i have to say about that.

Anonymous said...

The last dozen or so comments about the"predicament" of the market and the arcane and esoteric subject of WHO might be in a position to control the movement or the lack there of on the DJIA and the S&P 500 have been some of the best and most thought provoking I have read yet.Glad to see it.Could this "buy program on every miniscule pullback" go on all the way through the rest of Bush's term? Scary thought !

C.H. in Denver

Leisa said...

Tony, I could see money slowing and/or coming out of 401k's as follows (1) mortgage adjustments will require greater take home funds for some; (2) rising unemployment if we are in a recession will mean less folks in employed. So those are a couple of factors.

Liquidity certainly is a factor, but isn't it about risk management v. expected retrun as well? The liquidity invested will be in less risky sectors/classes. While 5% may not seem sexy, it's risk free. And risk free returns seem pretty sexy to me. Also, if one has borrowed against home equity loans to invest in the stock market by toys etc diminishing market returns at greater risk makes paying off an escalating home equity loan balance much more attractive. My home equity loan variable interest rate has increased 45% (5.5 to 8%) since May 05. If I had anything borrowed against it, I'd be thinking about taking money out of the market to pay this down. An 8% risk free return seems really attractive to me!

I don't think that we've seen the beginning of the housing effect--and I think that the stalwarts of financial sector are going to feel more heat--know their subprime cousins are getting roasted. Wachovia is buying Golden West--go take a look at GW's mortgage lending profile. Someone at Wachovia has to have a little gas over that. It will probably take a nudge for the financials to roll over a bit. I think that will be the catalyst for the market move downward that many are anticipating. But, those are just my amateur observations.

Anonymous said...


The simple fact that you're reading this blog is a pretty good indication that you're not an "Average Joe."

YOU may be adjusting your portfolio, but the Average Joe will not. He will listen to the TV broadcast from George Bush talking about how great the economy is. He will listen to the talking heads on CNBC talking about how the markets are stable and gasoline prices are falling.

The Average Joe is accustomed to taking out more and more credit when he is unable to pay his bills. He is NOT going to readjust his 401(k) allocations and contributions. I'd be willing to bet that the Average Joe doesn't even know HOW to change those contributions. He probably just selected some general "Retirement Fund" portfolio and will never touch it for the rest of his working career.

You are OBVIOUSLY way more in tune with your investments and opportunities available to you for reallocating your investments. But you are in the minority. As we all are.

Which is why it's becoming increasingly difficult to "fight the tape" against this market. We all "know" that the markets should drop. But they're not. They're being stubborn. That's because we're TOO EARLY. We need to wait for the Average Joe to finally come around to our way of thinking. And that could take several months, if ever.

As I said, it's all about liquidity and money flow. Right now, the money is not flowing out of the markets at the rate necessary to create more bears. In fact, since most people just watch the price action of the markets and not the economy itself, it's very likely that the bulls will take over the markets again very soon.

Someone said 11,600... I don't think that's out of the question. In fact, we could even make new highs. I wouldn't count anything out at this point.

Yes, I'm still "hoping" for a downturn and I'm still holding several short positions. But I'm only invested less than 10% short right now, which reflects my extremely cautious outlook on the markets.

Good luck out there.


plunger said...

tony, your right about the"average joe" in the aspect that he'll rarely if ever re-adjust his 401 or retirement, most people just hope or expect this will turn out right.(which is rare). but to assume that you are right and the market is wrong at any time is just wrong. consumer sentiment is at a low. everyone and their brother knows housing is in trouble, especially the ones with arms due, the markets just are,

Chronictown said...

I think im gonna start working on a hurricane trading plan for next week. I dont want to wish a hurricane on anyone ,however it is reality that "ernesto" may hit the U.s. next week. gold , oil , what would make the biggest moves up or down?? Im tryin to react rather than wish or hope the market goes my way.Any thoughts or feedback would be great. thanks, Chris

plunger said...

cont. .. you can agree with the markets or disagree, but they just are, right or wrong. its nice to anticipate what they will do, or should do and make $, but sure money is always found agree with the market no matter your opinion of it or the economy, etc. you always seem to be one of the more intelligent traders on this site too, i always enjoy your take on things, good luck

plunger said...

oil should go up if ernie heads toward la, tx, but if you check last yr when katrina hit, oil hit an all time high and the proceeded to slide down for the next three mos, so anybody guess on that. but gold should rally and restoration stocks will run on expected next qrt earnings, made a ton in hom last yr after storm but it has since gone to shit

Leisa said...

Tony, thanks for your response. While I agree that most folks will not adjust their 401(k) they will recalibrate/suspend their contributions if times get tough. There was a good article on the incongruence between the Dow industrials/transports. I was reminded of it when I read Barry R's The Big Picture Blog and also posted this reference there. Some of you might enjoy reading it.

In my off-line life, I have tried to be a a financial evangelical--proselytizing the benefits of cultivating a rudimentary understanding of market cyles, asset allocation, the concept of cycles and, nore importantly, seeking competent financial advice from their financial professional. I'm a CPA (though I don't practice, my discipline is at the executive financial level) and--BUT--I didn't have even the most rudimentary understanding of any of those things. It wasn't my discipline. And, frankly, this stuff is not exactly easy for the "average Joe". It wasn't easy for me, and I have the education and background to comprehend it better than most dipping their toes in that murky water. But it's been a fascinating journey, and one of the greatest pleasures is to run across professionals such as Tim and bloggers such as you and others that generous with sharing your opinions.

Ron Sen, MD said...

Concerning the SP500, the recent high arrived 'on time', 24 days into the cycle.

The housing slowdown hasn't even begun to take hold (Massachusetts home sales down 27%, condo sales down 23%, price down 6% last month)...and the NAHB housing index tends to lead GDP, consumer spending, and the market. I put up some charts at to illustrate.

Certainly the Street will try to spin this as midcycle 'slowing' and the ten-year yield plummeting as a 'good thing'. The biggest negatives for bears are the excessive short interest and, of course, manipulation of the market by the Fed. Excuse me, gentle guidance by the Wisest gods of the Cult of the Central Banker.

Anonymous said...

this market sucks. down and out.

Anonymous said...

As someone here said, we shouldn't be trying to predict the market or analyze the economy. Most of the big brokerage houses, funds, and other biggies already have top notch economists working for them. The basis of technical analysis is that every piece of relevant information is considered to be factored into the charts. So if the markets are going up, despite whatever we think about the economy, geopolitical situation, or whatnot, we should be trading according to the chart.

chart trader

Old Soldier said...

Chart Trader,

I second your comments. I think we as a whole spend way too much time analyzing the analyzers. If we are solely trading on their comments or predictions then we have no need for all the awesome charting and technical software/publications available to us. Think of the money we can all save by just listening to them - NOT!!! I prefer to trust what I see NOT what I hear! What I see is what the charts show me -"Continued or Expected Up, Down or Sideways movements". Simple concept for my simple mind. I would also submit to the group to never just trade on something you read or hear - ALWAYS do your own technical analysis based on your level of experience before pushing that send button! Case in point is this Blog - Great posts and some really good recommendations for possible trades but each of us MUST look at them from a position of caution and objectivety and do the chart work.

To all the other serious posters on this site - thanks for the contributions and insights to your thoughts on the market. A definite MUST read everyday!!!

Lastly - Great site Tim!!! Good exchange of information to keep the mental juices flowing!!!

darcy said...

This is for all of you who think they know who the FED is

If you already know, then this is a reinforcment of why they have to go
where they came from, who they are and

paste this link

Anonymous said...

We might be on the verge of a breakout here.

The Trader II

Anonymous said...

The Dow has gone up 40 points in 15 minutes.


A breakout? On what basis? What would be the catalyst?

stockshaker said...

thats what happens when you go on vacation for the weekend, you lose track of reality!

Tony, I read your post, VERY well thought out. That was exactly what I was talking about with some of my investing buddies over the weekend - we are very aware of numbers, and stats, and sentiment - but there are MUCH more people who are not, and trust their stockbroker to know better.

Im not down on the the stockbroker, but I am aware that their position is that of a salesperson: pump hard enough, and you shall see more commission...

That was why I dumped by broker years back...

I also beleive that everything is priced in the charts. I try not to read too much into major websites - just read overall headlines to get a general taste of whats going on...

but once you start reading analysis, your opinion becomes biased, and once you get a biased opinion, either you'll see your account swell, or fall into oblivion.

And I've been/seen both sides in my trading years, and i'll tell you:

ONE SIDE OR ANOTHER will ultimately lead to a downfall. You gotta trade SMART, not BIASED.

Anonymous said...

On more money buying then selling.
Too many folks here think there "MUST" be a reason to buy or sell.

The Trader II

Anonymous said...

sold my RTH tooooo early

Trader 2006

Anonymous said...

bsi87: You still have that limit order open for GLD at $60.90??

Looks like it might get there today.


Anonymous said...

Yawn, still waiting for something to actually HAPPEN in these markets.

Today's little "rally" took me a little by surprise, but it's not like the markets are running away to the upside by any stretch of the imagination.

Best bet is to keep up to date with daily scans for high price percentage gainers. Keep those overbought stocks on your watch lists. The *minute* that something negative happens in the markets, those stocks will drop like rocks.

Anyways, that's my plan. Unfortunately, the only stocks that are moving to the upside like that are ones that have either come out with M&A announcements or upped guidance, which typically don't tend to fall much after the fact.


Anonymous said...

Great blog Tim. Wanted to chip in my thought - I could see massive divergence in MACD in SPX weekly chart shaping up pretty nicely and stochastics going to the moon. Double top or close to earlier top looks realistic. Volume dying on the weekly chart on this up move off 1225 violates the formation of cup rule. Charts seems to be following the Elliott wave rules of ABC formation, rather than a cup and handle formation.

- kk

Anonymous said...

INTC right at resistance, market is tipping it's hat.

the trader II

Anonymous said...

If you are scratching your head today as to WHY the market is up today,then you probably should be doing something else.You have:25 of the 30 DJIA stocks higher;the Trannies up 80pts;The NASDQ up 14 pts;The S&P 500 and 100 both sharply higher;And to top it off,Oil is down $2.20 a barrel threatening to go back below 70.
That'll make the market go UP any day of the week !

Anonymous said...

Some folks here think that the market should be red everyday. Anything else and it's abnormal because the "news" is saying otherwise.

The Trader II

stockshaker said...

Interesting analysis -kk

I was looking at volume, and already, QQQQ volume (which I kind of use to gauge volume on the naz) Is already half of the total day volume on friday.

On the other hand, I also saw that divergence shaping up on the macd and the spx, which does generate some bells to fire off, because I am a big follower of the divergences/convergences between the macd and the underlying stock...

stockshaker said...

guys, see, this one is a little bit of a mind-bloggler.


It has a pure downtrending MACD, which clearly diverges from the current price pattern...

This is a beauty that I've been watching for a week or so. I would probably watch for this to crack 32.88, or I have a multi month uptrending price pattern, which has a support level around that same price.

It seems like a good one, it looks like its poised to go down (stocastics look like the stock can go up a couple days further)

Nice spread play if you are looking at a quick profit, and to kill some time before it decides to go higher or not.

If the MACD divergence is broken, however, and the stock goes above the high in August, I would look at buying calls.

Volume is horrible.

Anonymous said...

Trader II, I don't think people here expect the markets to be red every day. The problem is that with the extremely gloomy economic outlook, it just doesn't make sense that people would BUY stocks at these elevated levels. We don't necessarily expect a huge selloff, but it does seem unreasonable for the markets to rally in a seasonably weak period, amidst rising inflation, HUGE economic slowdowns across several sectors, and still near-record oil prices (I don't care if they did drop 2 bucks, they're still only 5 bucks off their record highs), and with the US dollar near record lows.

It's just very strange that there would be such huge surges in buying pressure on a day like today. If the markets drifted upwards on low volume, or even went sideways to downward, then I could understand the action. But to see an 80-point rally in the Dow in only a couple of hours is just not consistent with the economic outlook.

That's just how I see it.

Jerry B.

Anonymous said...

Good post! Jerry B.

That is exactly how I feel.


Anonymous said...

Wow, $SPX made higher high over last week today, and made new 75 day high. DOW and Nasdaq not close enough yet, even though they are up and trying. everything else too such as financials, retail, small caps, semis. It seems as though the real strength is in the S&P, and that doesnt seem right. still have to see more buying in these areas today and they had better catch up and get near last weeks highs. market may very well be tipping its hat to the downside.

Kas said...

I mostly agree with you Jerry B. I think today, with the low volume, the good new about the hurricane has knocked some of the "fear premium" out of the Oil Sector and thusly, pushed some money in off the sidelines. It’s only a temporary low volume push. Fast money. Maybe we’ll drift upward for the week.

Really though, more and more economists are forecasting a recession for 2007, so let the Bulls make money while they can. Once we are through the US Holiday season, we could see a long wind down into an economic slow down as the propaganda from the mid-Term Elections wears off and the reality of the housing bubble sets in.

What the markets constantly show is that either side, Bull or Bear, shouldn’t get cocky.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of stocks that are much cheaper than they were a year or two ago,so they would not be considered to be at "elevated" prices right now.EX:WMT;HD;BA:- Just to mention a few.Quite a few sectors have had huge corrections and are considered quite cheap here.Since they did it in rotation and you never a ton of sellers at one time ,the DJIA and the S&P dodged a bullit,much to the disappointment of us bear market lovers.Me included.At least having the S&P at 1300 and the OEX at 600,and the DJIA a few hundred points from an all time high might make things interesting fairly soon ,whichever way it goes.As for today,much lower oil and having the tropical storm threat much reduced,it does'nt really surprise me that the market would find that uplifting.I'll take 80 pts up over what happened(or did'nt happen)last week because at least it makes SOME KIND of profitable trade possible.


Anonymous said...

100 points? I guess the Dow has put it's line in the sand, 11280 is the new support.